The Quantum Moment
How Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenberg Taught Us to Love Uncertainty
Schrödinger’s cat, the uncertainty principle, multiverses: the language and imagery of the quantum are now applied in all manner of contexts, from poetry and fiction to marketing and politics. A philosopher and a physicist analyse this cultural impact as they explain the origin and meaning of each term and consider what such uses and misuses reveal about the ways in which concepts from quantum mechanics help us to rediscover the strangeness of the everyday world.
World in the Balance
The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement
Every day we need reliable ways of measuring length, weight and time. For most of human history these were based on creatively improvised local standards, such as the ancient Chinese connection between length and musical pitch. This book, by the philosopher who writes a regular Physics World column, tells little-known stories behind the world’s diverse measures and shows how they were gradually consolidated into a universal system, and how scientists are creating the first absolute system based on physical constants.